You will be aware from running your business in your domestic market that there is a difference between costing and pricing. It is only rarely that businesses can add up all the costs, then add a margin, and call that the price.
You may simply be entering into a contractual arrangement as a customer or as a supplier or you may be considering something more collaborative. In every case, you will want to check out the businesses with which you will be working unless your arrangement with them is such that they pay for everything from you before you deliver.
Most business relationships are not in any sense partnerships – but sometimes businesses set out to work in partnership, perhaps because each party can bring complementary skills and resources, and sometimes businesses find themselves collaborating more closely than would be typical of a traditional customer/ supplier relationship.
If you are planning to enter a new market, it is vital that you research your competitors thoroughly. This will help you differentiate your products or services from those of your rivals, identify any gaps in the market and plan your marketing strategy effectively.
The most successful businesses understand the needs of their customers. Consideration of how the market can be segmented is an aid to such understanding. It can also help you to assess the competition and locate gaps in the market.
Writing down a detailed plan may seem a difficult and possibly unnecessary task, but by clarifying your aims and ideas your business will be steered in the desired direction. In addition, a marketing plan can reveal some of the potential dangers ahead and ensure that you are prepared to deal with both the threats and opportunities which arise.
‘Marketing’ has a lot of definitions, but what they boil down to is an approach to business which emphasises the importance of attracting and retaining customers. Key to this is ensuring that any product offered to a customer is designed to meet their needs and is available to the customer where and when it is required.
Marketing covers all aspects of your business, from defining your product or service to the identification of market opportunities and filling those opportunities at a price which covers your costs and generates a profit.